Ok so its 11:17pm and this is my first post ever. Please forgive me if this doesn’t make alot of sense as I am quite sleepy and all this blog is intended to be is just the ramblings of an ordinary guy who has encountered an extraordinary God. So where should I start? Ooh I think I know…I’ll start here:
“Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians AD 96)
Sometimes I think as Christians we tend to complicate things when it should be so simple. Jesus said “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, this is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.” I believe that to love God is our highest calling and to love others is our greatest responsibility.
I think that love involves sacrifice…ouch…that’s a painful word – sacrifice. It’s painful because we have to give of ourselves and as humans we are inclined to always look out for “number one” but I do not believe that this is how God wants us to live. Jesus showed us the ultimate act of love by sacrificing his life for us and he should be our example. So does God expect us to be crucified? Well in a sense he does. Jesus said “If anyone wishes to follow Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” and the apostle Paul has this to say “I am crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ that lives in me.” So what this means to me is that when we lay down our lives for God in the sense of giving up our selfish and sometimes sinful desires then Christ’s light will be seen in us and we will display the character of Christ which will bring change to our world. This however is no easy task. Well at least it isn’t easy for me. The bible makes it clear that if we have accepted Christ and been born of the Spirit we are a new creation but we still have to deal with the old nature. This old nature to me is like a dead-weight, constantly trying to weigh me down and hold me back from what God has called me to be.
There is hope however. In Romans 7 the apostle Paul describes the struggle of overcoming the old nature like this: ” I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.” and he goes on further to say ” So I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”. Finally in dismay he exclaims “What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” That’s quite a sad story if you only read up until that point but then in Romans 8 we get to the hope I was talking about. It says “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.” To me what this means is that by the power of God’s Spirit in us we can overcome the “old enemy” which is our sinful nature. We no longer have to be held captive to it’s whims and desires. There is freedom to be found in Christ! And this gives me great hope, knowing that I can overcome anything through the power of Him that works in me, knowing that though I am not perfect God has not given up on me.
Anyway back to the love thing. The philosophy I try to live by is this: Love God, love people, love life. To me this is the essence of life, what it all really boils down to. God and people. Jesus said “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”. We have to decide, are we going to live for ourselves? Or are we going to live for a greater cause? Are we willing to lay down our lives for Him who laid down His life for us? The choice is yours to make…
So in closing let me just say this: let love rule.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or even imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 20-21)